Puppy love for ‘Kitty’

Sanrio takes on 'Blue's Clues'

Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) has sealed a deal with character goods powerhouse Sanrio for “Blue’s Clues.”

A key marketing concept of the partnership combines Blue, the canine star of the show, with Sanrio’s feline diva from “Hello Kitty” in a joint branding campaign, targeting kids from under-12 to late teens.

Licensed goods featuring Hello Kitty and Blue will be on sale for a limited period in the spring. Sanrio will begin full-scale marketing of “Blue’s Clues” goods in Japan from the summer. NVCP has given Sanrio rights to market “Blue’s Clues” toys, apparel and other goods in all categories in Japan.

Also, by combining Kitty and Blue, the partners hope to generate synergies and appeal to a new class of consumers.

According to the terms of the master licensing arrangement, the partners will cooperate in a wide-range of licensing businesses.

In June, NVCP made wholly owned Sanrio subsid Sanrio Far East its exclusive agent in Japan. The deal included popular Nickelodeon properties “SpongeBob Squarepants” and “Dora the Explorer.”

A fave with the pre-school set, “Blue’s Clues” has spawned a series of straight-to-video pics.

Since her birth as a character design in 1974, Hello Kitty has morphed into an international icon, together with a menagerie of animal friends, with more than 50,000 types of Hello Kitty goods sold in 60 countries worldwide.

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